Nigeria, UK Government Commence MoU Review

Officials of the Nigerian and United Kingdom Governments have commenced a review of the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Immigration Returns between the two countries.

At the meeting in Abuja yesterday, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibh, noted that any review on immigration, especially irregular migration, must uphold the human rights and integrity of all migrants. Uhomoibhi lauded the UK for rescinding its decision to levy a £3000 bond on first time Nigerian travellers to the UK, alongside five other countries.

He added that the Prisoners Transfer Agreement signed last January remained in the best interests of convicts from both nations. "This meeting is to review how well the framework has work and explore room for improvements to lead to acceptable outcomes for our governments and citizenry," he said. The Director of Compliance and Returns of the UK Home Office, Mr. Hugh Ind, in his address, said migration was not the only area where progress had been made since the communique was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan and Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011.

A lot had been done on the issue of human trafficking, leading to a collaboration with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP, he disclosed. "Our relationship on migration with Nigeria is one of the most important because Nigerians are one of the largest groups of migrants in the UK," he added.

Ind, who headed the UK delegation, also expressed the condolences of the UK Government to Nigeria over the Nyanya park bomb blastthat occured two weeks ago.

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